Former Williams driver Jacques Villeneuve has again hit the headlines with yet another outspoken opinion regarding his former employer.
In an interview with Canadian newspaper ‘Le Journal de Montreal’, the one man headline writing machine states his opinion that Williams F1 has become so beholden to the city that all they care about is making a profit, and that their once all consuming quest for Grand Prix glory is a thing of the past.
“[Williams] is a public entity that must report at the end of the year, and all they have to do is make a profit”
“That’s all that matters now.”
“But if the company made $16 million in 2018, it is because not enough was spent on the racing team. The president does not want to win in F1, he just wants to make sure he makes the most for the shareholders.”
Villeneuve’s comments come in response to Williams revealing their financial results from 2018 that show the team’s revenue was up from £125.6m to £130.7m, with earnings of £16.0m.
This is despite the 2018 being the teams’ worst ever season in Formula 1 resulting in a tenth (and last) place finish in the constructor’s championship, whilst also finishing bottom of the drivers championship with former driver Sergey Sirotkin.
The healthy financials were largely as a result of Williams’ strong finishes in the previous two seasons (2016 and 2017), upon which a team’s F1 income is based.
If Villeneuve’s theory is correct, and the bottom line is all the Williams board is concerned with, then they will quickly realise that, with success being a determining factor in this income that more of their revenue is required to generate the results that will guarantee this income in future.
However, it’s unlikely that Villeneuve knows what the motives of the Williams board are, and that it’s merely another of his trademark outbursts that newspapers and tv channels seem to lap up, guaranteeing the former F1 World Champion work.